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Gluten-Free Jalapeno Onion Cornbread

I have adapted this recipe, adding in agave syrup, taking out the eggs, making my own buttermilk from soymilk and turning it gluten-free.


One of my very first cookbooks was the 1977 softcover edition of The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen. I used this cookbook in my first first tiny apartment in Manhattan, in Chicago, and it still graces my cookbook shelf here in San Diego. I loved the hand-lettered recipes, the friendly introduction to vegetarian food, and the lovely illustrations — and her “Delicious Cornbread” recipe. I have always loved it.

Over the years, I have adapted it, adding in agave syrup, taking out the eggs, making my own buttermilk from soymilk and turning it gluten-free. I think it’s the sign of a truly great recipe if it can be adapted in so many ways.

I also use this (without the jalapenos and onions) when I’m making my cornbread stuffing for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

Gluten-Free Jalapeno-Onion Cornbread


  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup agave syrup or liquid honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup yellow corn meal
  • 1 cup gluten-free flour mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1-2 jalapenos
  • half onion
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F. Put a cast iron skillet in the oven to preheat. (Or you can use an 8-inch round or square pan. In that case, line the pan with parchment paper.)
  2. Add the vinegar to the soy milk, stir and let stand to curdle.
  3. Put the flax seeds and water in your mixing bowl and let stand to thicken.
  4. Whisk together the corn meal, flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and xanthan gum in a medium bowl.
  5. With a wooden spoon (or a stand mixer), mix together the curdled soy milk, flax seed mixture, agave syrup (or honey), and olive oil until blended. Add the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated. Do not over-mix. Stir in the jalapenos, onion and cheese just until mixed.
  6. If using the jalapenos, cut off the tops and removed the ribs and seeds. Mince finely.
  7. Peel the onion and cut into fine dice. Saute in about 1 tablespoon olive oil until golden. (This is a great way to use up an onion that’s past its prime.)
  8. Remove the skillet from the oven with a hot pad. Put about 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet and tilt to cover the bottom and sides of the pan evenly.
  9. Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Place in the center of the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove, cool, and cut into wedges.

Stephanie Weaver

Stephanie Weaver is a writer and wellness advocate who lives in San Diego. Her specialty is remaking recipes with healthy ingredients: low-sodium, gluten-free and migraine-friendly. She has a Master's in public health in nutrition education from the University of Illinois. Visit her blog Recipe Renovator.

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